Tyrant Leech King

Image Source from PLoS ONE

One time my friends OB and Dave went walleye fishing up north.  They used leeches for bait.  Tough, elastic, resilient leeches that don’t like being impaled with fishhooks.  They bite back.  I wish I could’ve been there watching those clowns battling wits with leeches.  As a rule, I’m not really fond of parasites, but for some reason I can tolerate a leech. Ticks and chiggers are another matter.

This ominous maw is not from a giant spice worm from Dune or a Graboid from Tremors.  It’s from a newly-discovered leech Tyrannobdella rex. Literally, the “Tyrant Leech King”.  It was found in a young Peruvian girl’s nasal cavity —feeding.  It’s about 2″ long and possesses a single rasp-like jaw or radula.  Yuk. It made ASU’s International Institute for Species Exploration Top 10 List for new species of 2011.


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